In a move that pays homage to the company’s roots importing German-style breweries, Wetten Importers announced today a new partnership with Tucher Traditionsbrauerei (Tucher) of Nuremberg, Germany. The partnership will at first see American distribution of the Bavarian brewery’s line of iconic wheat beers year-round, with expansion to other portions of its portfolio in the future. The first three products, Tucher’s Helles Hefeweizen, Helles Kistallweiss and Helles Dunkelweiss, will be available immediately in the Mid-Atlantic.
“In the last 5-10 years the biergarten scene has exploded in the United States, and Americans are becoming more familiar with these smaller independent breweries out of Germany,” said Jonathan Fattori, Wetten Importers Director of Sales. “[Tucher’s line-up of wheat beers] are higher-quality German beers that haven’t always been available to Americans. Compared to the benchmark hefeweizens on the market, Tucher’s has slightly less body and is significantly more drinkable without sacrificing any of its complexity.”
Among the qualities that attracted Wetten Importers to the 350-year old brewery was an obsession with its “Sapienza” house yeast strain that in many ways mirrored that of the Belgian breweries the company has become known for. The brewery’s policy of only using first-generation yeast in its beers, when other German breweries have been known to recycle their strains for multiple batches, is at the heart of its final product. “That sounds a little geeky,” Fattori said, “but at the end of the day what it equates to is super clean finish and drinkability.”
Also key to the partnership were the origins of the American importer. Despite a decades-long association with Belgian brands, Martin Wetten originally founded the company in an effort to import the German-inspired beers of his native Switzerland. And Wetten Importer’s sister company, Hop & Wine, has long been the distributor for German brands of record in the Mid-Atlantic.
“For Martin, his bread and butter has been the Belgian beers for a long time,” Fattori said. “But his heart has always been in Germanic beers. Swiss. Austrian. German. He grew up collecting steins and glasses and old bottles in the 80s. He still has all that stuff in his house. We go to Germany and he’s in full garb and everything. He knows the culture well and has experienced it for a long time. It’s not foreign to us in the least.”